HP are the second largest PC vendor in the world and have over the past year (since late 2011, actually) introduced a number of fantastic machines all of which have performed well within their respective markets.
The Ultrabook market is one area which HP have excelled in over the past year. Their first Ultrabook, the HP Folio 13, was a fantastic machine featuring hot features like a backlit keyboard, generous 128GB SSD and a respectable battery life. That machine won my heart due to its rugged build and business focused marketing, with the whole package proving so tempting I actually bought one myself in January of this year. That machine has served me well for a number of months now yet like any consumer technology nut I long for something different now, because as Bob Dylan famously sang, The Times They Are a-Changin’ (or as I am singing, Ivy Bridge is now here).
The new HP Envy Ultrabook looks like a decent upgrade over the Folio 13. Thinner than the Ultrabook of last year at 17.8mm, the Envy Ultrabook 4 (which features a 14-inch display) and Envy Ultrabook 6 (which features a 15.6-inch display) are both wrapped in lustrous brushed aluminium, and both of them rock Intel Ivy Bridge innards which means that battery life and power efficiency, as well as speed and graphics, are better than within the Sandy Bridge Folio 13. Beats audio is also a welcome addition to the Envy range if not for the audio software but for the red branding, which contrasts nicely with the black sleekness of the Ultrabook chassis.
Both Ultrabook models are available in either 4GB or 6GB RAM configurations, whilst port wise you are looking at HDMI, USB, RJ-45, and a headphone jack. Unfortunately, HP did not see fit to include a Thunderbolt port, something which is fairly frustrating considering this is a ‘next generation’ Ultrabook. Quite simply, it isn’t ready for the next generation in that respect as Thunderbolt will catch on massively eventually. Storage is available in hybrid form, with a maximum configuration of 32GB SDD + 500GB HDD.
Overall there is a lot to like about HP’s latest range of consumer focused Envy Ultrabooks. If there was but a single nail that could be hammered in to the coffin of this product it would be the displays; at 1366 by 768 pixels, the displays on these machines aren’t class leaders nor do they so much as raise the bar for competitors. Pound for pound though, the new Envy 4 Ultrabook and Envy 6 Ultrabook are serious options to consider if you are in the market for a mid range Ultrabook.
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About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is a professional self-employed blogger and the founder / owner of Technology Blogged. 22, with a love for good writing, you'll find me playing 'Drag Racing' on my HTC One X and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to my feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.